K-pop is taking over the world with its diverse array of music, dance, and visuals. Fans unite to enjoy content their favorite groups and artists put out. Perhaps one of the biggest appeal factors is the way some groups have their own intricate fictional universe backing up their discographies, allowing friendships to blossom within fandoms by letting fans theorize together, analyzing music videos and concept trailers. There’s never a moment of boredom when your favorite group keeps you on your toes.
Fictional universes are definitely no joke — there are even fan-created Wiki pages just to summarize and lay out theories with ease!
The following K-pop groups have truly generated greater public interest due to their vast worlds:
LOONA is a rising star girl group that’s already taking the world by storm. They have an entire storyline along with their infectious music and eye-catching dance performances; entailing themes of celestial divinity and sin.
The Loonaverse has recently taken a darker turn, encompassing the dark side of the moon in their latest release, [#] (February 2020). The title track “So What” showcases not only Loona’s hard-hitting girl crush side, but also marks a shift in their concept, centering around defying the fate of the moon and ultimately defying destruction by baring their teeth and becoming stronger women.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT)
TXT is well-known for their charisma as well as their fun, outgoing music revolving around magic and the supernatural. However, we seem to be witnessing a shift in the TXT Universe (TU) ever since the May 18th release of The Dream Chapter: ETERNITY; the final installment of The Dream Chapter trilogy (following STAR and MAGIC).
The last song on the album, called “Eternally,” is rather peculiar. It masquerades as a calm, peaceful song — the type of dreamy song one would listen to on an easy day. A little over the one-minute mark, however, the melody dies and is replaced with low-pitch rapping over a more demented beat. It goes back to “normal” after about thirty seconds, only to resume the thirty-second tirade once more.
Many fans speculate that these “hiccups” could allude to a transition from the Dream Chapter to the Nightmare Chapter; where the TU will probably be plunged into darkness and a rollercoaster of emotion.
MONSTA X is one of the hottest K-pop groups taking over the Western scene – their strong, catchy music and intense music videos almost always pique the interest of any listener. The group lays out their story within multiple timelines encompassing time travel, inter-dimensional travel and resurrection. There is still much room for their fictional universe to expand; and it continues to unfold through their recent May 26 comeback with the album Fantasia X.
Instead of the dazzling music video for “Fantasia,” the trailer videos piece together this era’s storyline. It appears that this particular timeline continues the time-travel and suspense elements as one member, Hyungwon, goes missing in one of the trailers; while Joohoney appears to be in a place where time has frozen. In fact, some fans believe that even the order of the trailers is out of whack, which only adds to the mystery!
Perhaps one of the most well-known fictional universes in K-pop is that of BTS, also known as Bangtan Universe (BU). Spread over the course of their musical career, BTS has numerous hints hidden in music videos and award show performances. Their universe is based on themes of nostalgia and childhood memories with a sci-fi twist. Jin, the oldest member, always finds himself warping to the same date: April 11; in continuous attempts to save the other six members from a dark and unhappy ending.
BTS has returned to this storyline so many times that there are even “Notes” that come with every physical copy of their albums. The Notes contain bits and pieces of the story from multiple perspectives.
What are some other groups’ storylines which you think deserve the spotlight? Which one is your favorite?
Cover Image: MONSTA X – “Fantasia” (Starship Entertainment)